State opioid awareness program hopes to inspire Mississippians to remember loved ones lost to overdose and take steps to prevent overdose deaths.
August 16, 2023 (Jackson, Mississippi) – Stand Up, Mississippi, a statewide opioid awareness campaign led by the Mississippi Department of Mental Health (DMH) and six state and federal agencies, is encouraging Mississippians to join people across the world on Thursday, August 31 to recognize International Overdose Awareness Day. The purpose of this global event is to raise awareness of overdose and reduce the stigma of drug-related death.
“In Mississippi, we lose hundreds of people to opioid overdose each year. And those who have suffered a loss from overdose know all too well that even one death is too many,” states Wendy Bailey, Executive Director for DMH. “We urge Mississippians to stand up for their communities by educating their friends, family, and neighbors about the warning signs of overdose.”
Through the Stand Up, Mississippi campaign, DMH has provided more than 13,000 doses of the life-saving drug naloxone to law enforcement officers and first responders in each of Mississippi’s 82 counties and provided training on how to administer the drug to people who they suspect may be experiencing an opioid overdose. This year, DMH has already distributed 3,394 Narcan kits since February and when administered properly, naloxone can reverse the effects of opioid overdose.
“In 2022, Mississippi first responders administered the highest annual amount of naloxone since the distribution program began in August 2017. With a total of 2,551 doses given, their efforts likely saved countless lives” said Charlotte Bryant, Outreach Coordinator for DMH. “Stand Up, Mississippi also aims to help individuals struggling with substance use disorder find treatment and begin their journey toward recovery.”
DMH offers a variety of treatment options across the state for people struggling with substance use disorder. Information about treatment centers can be found on the program’s website www.standupms.org. Individuals who want to show their support for International Overdose Awareness Day can change their Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or LinkedIn profile photo to an overdose awareness day image available for download on the Stand Up, Mississippi website. On the site, people can also download infographics, fact sheets, and other resources to help raise awareness about the warning signs of overdose and steps to take in the event of an overdose.
Stand Up, Mississippi is a collaborative effort of the Mississippi Department of Mental Health, Mississippi Department of Public Safety, Mississippi Board of Pharmacy, Mississippi Bureau of Narcotics, Mississippi Department of Human Services, Federal Bureau of Investigation, and Drug Enforcement Agency. The goal of the program is to improve public perception of people dealing with substance use disorder, strengthen policies for prevention and treatment, and promote statewide partnerships to combat the opioid crisis in Mississippi.
For more information about Stand Up, Mississippi or International Overdose Awareness Day, visit www.standupms.org.
About Stand Up, Mississippi
Stand Up, Mississippi is a state-wide initiative to end the opioid crisis and inspire all Mississippians to work together to create a stronger and healthier future. The primary goals of this comprehensive effort are to improve public perception of people dealing with substance use disorder, strengthen policies for prevention and treatment, and promote state-wide partnerships to combat the opioid crisis in Mississippi.
This project is a collaborative effort by the Mississippi Department of Mental Health, Department of Public Safety, Mississippi Bureau of Narcotics, Mississippi Board of Pharmacy, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Mississippi Department of Human Services, and Drug Enforcement Agency. Funding is provided by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.
About the Department of Mental Health
The Mississippi Department of Mental Health administers and operates state behavioral health programs, and regional programs for persons with intellectual and developmental disabilities and provides a number of community services and supports through DMH Certified Providers. These services are provided through a state-wide network of providers, which includes state-operated facilities, regional Community Mental Health Centers, and other community-based programs. DMH is responsible for establishing, maintaining, monitoring and evaluating a state-wide system of alcohol and drug use services, including prevention, treatment and recovery support services. The goal is to provide a continuum of community-based services accessible to all Mississippians.